Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra ) recreates the renowned 1960 "/>

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down

Andrea Davis Pinkney, Author, Brian Pinkney, Illustrator , illus. by Brian Pinkney. Little, Brown $16.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-316-07016-4

The latest collaboration by this husband-and-wife team (the Caldecott Honor book Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra ) recreates the renowned 1960 sit-in staged by four black college students at a Greensboro “whites only” lunch counter. The narrative incorporates a steady stream of food metaphors, noting that the students ignored the law’s “recipe” for segregation (“a bitter mix”) replacing it the “new brew” of integration. Unfortunately, this device is more trite than moving (“Their order was simple: A double dose of peace, with nonviolence on the side”) and, at times, can come across as glib. Brief quotations by Martin Luther King Jr. appear in large, blocky text, emphasizing his influence on the actions of this quartet as well as those who followed their lead, staging sit-ins across the South. Brian Pinkney’s sinuous watercolor and ink art conveys the solidity and determination of the activists as well as a building energy that grew out of their act of civil disobedience. A succinct civil rights time line and additional facts and suggested reading about the topic round out this account. Ages 6–up. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 02/08/2010
Release date: 02/01/2010
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